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Application System for Geotextiles to Reduce Freeze Injury in Vineyards
Hinterland Wine Company
The objective is to develop an automated, tractor-mounted mechanism capable of applying protective geotextile cloth to rows of grape vines. Vine injury due to cold is a major factor in reduced yields in the Ontario wine industry. While large wine producers use expensive options (e.g., wind machines, helicopters, etc.) to protect vines, smaller producers must use other strategies such as “hilling up” (i.e., burying the vine canes under soil), which is not an ideal option. Geotextile cloth has been scientifically demonstrated as a favourable alternative to burying canes to protect tender fruits. However, because this technology currently can only be applied manually, it has not been widely adopted. Hinterland Wine Company seeks to become an early adopter of geotextiles, but this would only be feasible if an automated means of applying and removing the cloth were available. Currently, no such solution exists. In this project, the research team will design and fabricate a proof-of-concept mechanism to perform this task in an automated way for the first time.
- Hinterland Wine Company
- Frank Naccarato
- Sustainability and the Built Enviroment